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Stronger Ozone Standard Could Dramatically Reduce Asthma, Premature Deaths
Date:2/4/2010

mille Kustin during the last of three EPA public hearings on the ozone standard. "The current standard of 75 parts per billion is not supported by science and will continue to put tens of millions of Californians and Americans at risk.  It is unacceptable."  

In 2008, the Bush administration EPA selected the 75 ppb standard, sharply departing from the analyses prepared by EPA staff and the expert opinion of an EPA-appointed panel of the nation's leading experts, the Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee (CASAC). The committee unanimously recommended a range of 60-70 ppb for the ozone standard to protect public health. Today, EPA is reconsidering the adequacy of the 2008 standard to protect human health and the environment.

Kustin noted that more than 20 million residents in the heavily polluted South Coast and San Joaquin Valley air basins face significant health risks from poor air quality. The annual cost of asthma nationwide is estimated to be nearly $18 billion, with direct costs (hospitalizations the single largest portion of direct cost) accounting for nearly $10 billion and indirect costs (lost earnings due to illness or death) of $8 billion, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.

"The National Ambient Air Quality Standard for ozone must provide an adequate margin of safety to protect these vulnerable populations," added Kustin.  "We request the EPA establish a national air quality standard for ozone that protects the children, the elderly and the millions of Californians and Americans with asthma that is exacerbated by smog pollution."

Environmental Defense Fund, a leading national nonprofit organization, represents more than 700,000 members. Since 1967, Environmental Defense Fund has linked science, economics, law and innovativ
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SOURCE Environmental Defense Fund
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